Snyder: "Smarter Living" Auto Show Display Demonstrates the Kind of Entrepreneurial Dynamism Michigan Must Cultivate

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

“Smarter Living in Michigan” expo dedicated to the state’s burgeoning alternative energy industry and innovative companies

Governor Rick Snyder kicked off the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at the Cobo Center in Detroit today by opening the “Smarter Living in Michigan” expo, sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), in the Michigan Hall. The 5,000 square-foot display is dedicated to the state’s burgeoning alternative energy industry and innovative companies, and features the ways in which alternative energy technologies are reinventing our lives. 

“The technology and cutting-edge products highlighted in this display demonstrate the kind of entrepreneurial dynamism we must cultivate in Michigan at an accelerated pace,” Snyder said. “We will reinvent Michigan and create the kind of state where businesses in every industry can thrive and create jobs.” 

Visitors can stroll through the MEDC Town Square’s interactive exhibits featuring the latest in energy efficiencies, with solar shingles and residential wind turbines just a few of the innovations from Michigan companies that are driving America’s clean-energy future. DTE Energy’s roadway path through the MEDC Town Square spotlights additional energy-related products and service providers based in Michigan. In the NAIAS Drive and Ride Track area, the focus is on eco-friendly transportation, complete with the opportunity to test-drive electric and hybrid vehicles provided by more than 30 auto manufacturers. 

New this year is the use of QR codes on displays, which allow smartphone users to download company and product information directly.

"Smarter Living in Michigan" Town Square exhibitors include:

  • A123 Systems, Inc.: Livonia-based A123 Systems develops and manufactures advanced lithium-ion batteries and energy storage systems that deliver high power and energy density, long life, and excellent safety performance.
  • ALTe: ALTe is an auto supplier that manufactures extended-range fuel cell batteries and powertrain systems that doubles fuel economy while meeting stringent emissions requirements.
  • Azure Dynamics Corporation: Azure Dynamics Corporation (AZD) is a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles. AZD is strategically targeting the commercial delivery vehicle and shuttle bus markets and is currently working internationally with various partners and customers.
  • Cascade Renewable Energy: Cascade Renewable Energy manufacturers, markets, and distributes renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions for residential, community, and commercial needs. As a division of Cascade Engineering, Inc., headquartered in Grand Rapids, Cascade Renewable energy is part of a family-owned company that has been in business for over 35 years.
  • Current Motor Company: Current Motor develops and manufactures all-electric motor scooters in Ann Arbor.
  • Danotek: Danotek manufactures generators and motors ranging from 3kW to 3000kW to power the highest performing wind turbines, vehicles, industries and communities throughout the world.
  • Dow Kokam: Dow Kokam was established in 2009 to develop and manufacture technologically advanced and economically viable battery solutions for the transportation, defense, industrial and medical industries.
  • PEP Stations: PEP Stations is an electric vehicle charging station (EVSE) manufacturer and service provider located in metro Detroit.
  • Sakti3: Sakti3 is a Michigan-based company that is developing advanced, rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology.
  • Swedish Biogas International: Swedish Biogas International is a privately owned company that owns and operates biogas plants.
  • University of Michigan Solar Car: The University of Michigan Solar Car Team is an entirely student-run organization whose purpose is to design, finance, build, and race a solar-powered vehicle in competitions around North America and the world.
  • Ventower Industries: Located in Monroe, Ventower Industries is a full service fabricator and supplier of utility-scale wind turbine towers.

Other exhibitors in the Smarter Living showcase include Albert Kahn, Bongiovi Acoustics / Johnson Controls, &, DTE Energy, Eco-Green-Energy, Log Home Outfitters, LumaSmart, Lumecon, SPX Service Solutions and WellHome. 

The NAIAS is open to the public January 15 through January 23. It is expected to draw more than 4,500 automotive journalists, representatives from 1,700 auto-related companies and over 700,000 expected visitors to one of the world’s premier industry events.  

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.